Jeremiah 5:20-6:30; 2 Kings 22:3-20; 2 Chronicles 34:8-28
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It is very interesting to see the rise of Babylon in history and how God foretold Israel that Babylon was coming. God gave Israel so many chances to repent, but Israel wouldn't. Jeremiah in chapter 6 verses 10 & 11 today tells us - "To whom can I give warning? Who will listen when I speak? Their ears are closed, and they cannot hear. They scorn the word of the LORD. They don't want to listen at all. So now I am filled with the LORD's fury. Yes, I am weary of holding it in!" What about us today - do we listen when God speaks? It is amazing that Israel would not listen to words like these from God in verses 6 through 8 (though... maybe not so amazing... perhaps we can do a good job of ignoring God's words & warnings in our lives today as well...?) - "This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Cut down the trees for battering rams. Build ramps against the walls of Jerusalem. This is the city to be punished, for she is wicked through and through. She spouts evil like a fountain! Her streets echo with the sounds of violence and destruction. Her sickness and sores are ever before me. This is your last warning, Jerusalem! If you do not listen, I will empty the land."
Today in Jeremiah chapter 6 verse 16 we read - "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” I love these verses! It reminds me that on a daily basis each of us is standing at a crossroads. A crossroads of where the world would have us go and where God would have us go. Too often I am afraid we take the worldly path and not the ancient path. "Ask where the good way is" - Do you do this in your life? How often? I think we can best do this through prayer. "Ask, and you shall receive" we have learned from Jesus. Do we ask Jesus in prayer where the good way is? Then, do we walk in it? And the reward for walking in it is - "you will find rest for your souls." I like this a lot! Who doesn't want rest for our souls? Is your soul at rest today? Why or why not? If your soul is not at rest, is it possible that you are walking along the wrong path? The worldly path? Will you seek instead the ancient paths? The good Way? Will you find rest for your soul?
Wow... I thought today's readings in Second Kings Chapter 22 are some of the best readings we've had in a while! King Josiah cleaned up house for God! He went to town on all the idols, pagan altars and high places. Unfortunately, as we'll see in tomorrow's readings, the southern kingdom of Judah is about to meet a similar fate as the northern kingdom of Israel did in recent days readings. But King Josiah goes down with a fight for the Lord in today's readings! I wonder about this in our lives today - are we willing to fight for the Lord and his values in the way that Josiah did today? Or, perhaps "fight" isn't quite the right word, as Jesus taught us to turn the other cheek.... but, then, considering this, should we simply be meek and mild and not fight for things of the Lord? I don't think Jesus modeled this entirely either. Jesus turned over some tables in the Temple and turned over some ideas about God during His life... What can we learn about a zeal for God from Josiah and Jesus' lives? Please post up your thoughts in the Comments section below. Below is an image of King Josiah and his men destroying a pagan altar from today's readings:
2 Kings 22 verse 8 reminds me of the old adage - "Dusty Bibles lead to dirty lives..." :) - "Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the court secretary, "I have found the Book of the Law in the LORD's Temple!" Then Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan, and he read it." That is amazing to think about - that finding the Book of the Law in the Lord's Temple was a big find! Most commentaries suggest that the scroll was either the entire Pentateuch (Genesis-Deuteronomy) or possibly just Deuteronomy. Imagine if you will that the Bible was "forgotten" about for generations and then finally discovered today!
King Josiah's words in verse 13 are wonderful repentful words - "Go to the Temple and speak to the LORD for me and for the people and for all Judah. Ask him about the words written in this scroll that has been found. The LORD's anger is burning against us because our ancestors have not obeyed the words in this scroll. We have not been doing what this scroll says we must do." Have you ever had ah-ha experiences like this in your life? Where you realize finally what God wants you to do - and you realize that you have not been doing it? Well, fortunately God is a God that Psalm 145 verse 8 tells us, "is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love." There is room for repentance with God! When you have these ah-ha moments like King Josiah did, will you turn in repentance and humble yourself before God?
YouTube: Today readings reminded me of the Chris Tomlin song "King of Glory:"
Do you know the King of Glory? Click here to meet Him!
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!